Entrepreneurship N°1.pdf


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Case Study 161
Should a job
candidate divulge
that she’s pregnant?

SYNTHESIS 166
Analyzing our
obsession with
innovation

LIFE’s Work 172
Prolific author
James Patterson on
problem solving and
productivity

Experience
Managing Your Professional Growth hbr.org

Managing Yourself

New Project?
Don’t Analyze—Act
Entrepreneurs take small, quick steps to get
initiatives off the ground. You can do the same
in your organization. by Leonard A. Schlesinger,
Charles F. Kiefer, and Paul B. Brown
154  Harvard Business Review March 2012

Illustration: tomasz walenta

W

e all know how new projects
happen in a predictable world:
A team is assembled, a market
analyzed, a forecast created, and a business plan written. Resources are then
gathered, and the plan is set in motion.
But how do you launch new projects in
an unpredictable environment? What’s the
best way to do it in an age when the proliferation of data and opinion makes truly
decisive analysis impossible; when faraway events have immediate, unexpected
impact; and when economic malaise has
made companies reluctant to take big bets
on unproven ideas?
Take a page from the playbook of those
who are experts in navigating extreme
uncertainty while minimizing risk: serial
entrepreneurs.
We and others in the academic and
consulting communities have spent years
studying these leaders and the logic they
use to create new products, services,
and business models in situations where
the old methods of analyzing, forecasting, modeling, planning, and allocating
don’t work.
Some of the most surprising research
comes from Saras D. Sarasvathy, an associate professor of business administration at
the University of Virginia’s Darden School